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Absolute Tomatoey-est Tasting Tomato Sauce You Will EVER Eat

No, I'm not, not for my taste. And, well, it's worked for at least three generations of us, so I'm not too concerned. For what it's worth, I do often add basil at the end, but like nonna did, tearing the leaves by hand over the pot. She never felt the need to chiffonade. Neither do I. I do hope this is OK.

Sep 19, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking

Absolute Tomatoey-est Tasting Tomato Sauce You Will EVER Eat

Call me retrograde, but after reading this post and comments I'm exhausted. All I know is what my Calabrese nonna did, asnd what I do to usually good effect --get quality Italian pelati, crush them by hand, and dump into a skillet in which olive oil and garlic simmered. Add salt, pepper, fresh basil,. and watch. Add a little acid if need be. Boil ziti. Open wine. Sit down. Serve.

Sep 18, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Another solid all-purpose bakery as Jon Vie on 6th and 12th, making a full range of sweets, inc. babka, but for my memory a wonderful apricot-prune tart.

Sep 13, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Is it OK when David Rocco pronounces Italian words correctly but not when Giada does it?

Maureen, or perhaps like a clean "ou" sound in ought for ricotta. Moving toward Pittsburgh and beyond, however, it all becomes "ah".. and broadens inexorably as it passes through Chicago.

Sep 13, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Is it OK when David Rocco pronounces Italian words correctly but not when Giada does it?

She seems much more at home in normal discourse in Italian--maybe since she's not in front of a camera, where her every gesture scripted by FN. This is the Giada-- alot like the early Giada-- that belongs on screen.

Sep 12, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

relatively inexpensive agriturismo with great food? (anywhere in Italy)

Elizabeth, it's Agriturismo Acacia, w no web site active. Here's their profile from the Potenza directory of agriturismi. Place looks great.http://www.agriturismo.st/it/Italia/B...

Sep 12, 2014
bob96 in Italy

relatively inexpensive agriturismo with great food? (anywhere in Italy)

Look here:http://www.agriturismo.it/en/
Two favorites in Calabria, both relatively inexpensive and unpretentious: Le Farnie in Altomonte, a medieval hill town in the Pollino mountains at the northern edge of the region; and Agriclub le Giare in Roccella Ionica, Reggio Calabria, just across from a beautiful private beach.

Sep 12, 2014
bob96 in Italy
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The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

Please. Tyranny is Syria under Assad or being gay in Africa. Feed your kids well however and wherever you choose, is all. Cook at home if and when you want, and get a damn life. One whose worth is not entirely measured by media representations.

Sep 11, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

What? No Chicken Parm!! [moved from Italy board]

I've seen and had melanzane alla parmigiana with shavings of mozzarella (fior di latte) on top--tho not the multiple sheets of it--in Calabria and Campania. Maybe a transatlantic crossing. Not all southerners are freewheeling with garlic; many Neapolitans cook it whole, and remove. My Calabrese cousins use it lightly, also sliced or whole, and not in everything you might suspect. The overwhelming presence of garlic--sometimes burnt--found in bad Italian American restaurants is something I've never experienced in Italy.

Sep 10, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

What? No Chicken Parm!! [moved from Italy board]

The migration to Argentina and Brazil was heavily northern--the Veneto, which was also dirt poor, especially. I remember my first visits to San Francisco as a Brooklyn kid with Calabrese roots being amazed at pesto, focaccia, and other dishes form Lucca and Liguria that were completely new. And you could not buy fresh mozzarella anywhere in the Bay area.

Sep 09, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Any recs for a nicer BRANDY that is sim to Christian Bros?

I'd thought about suggesting somethign like a Cardinal de Mendoza Solera, too, but stopped for the same reason. Now a good, balanced Calvados might be an alternative to Cognac, if one is needed.

Sep 09, 2014
bob96 in Wine

Any recs for a nicer BRANDY that is sim to Christian Bros?

The Ferrand line is always a great value, and delicious.

Sep 08, 2014
bob96 in Wine

What? No Chicken Parm!! [moved from Italy board]

Chicken pieces cooked with onion, garlic, herbs, tomatoes, wine, and herbs, either in a saute or baked al forno in the oven produces a great pan sauce--ideal for topping a first course of spaghetti or bucatini with more fresh herbs and some grated pecorino. But, no, not on the same plate.

Sep 08, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

What? No Chicken Parm!! [moved from Italy board]

Arthur Schwartz makes the same case for Neapolitan traditional cooking; typically, the Neapolitans are firm on avoiding this terrible clash of flavors (!). We always had both an onion and some garlic in the pan first; for soem sauces, like marinara or pizzaiolo, garlic only.

Sep 08, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Best pizza in Naples near airport?

Haven't been to any of these, but as Jen says, standards are high, and the spots pinned on this Google map (clik down to scale, right by the airport's SE entrance) are within minutes of Capodichino, in old residential neighborhoods. Might be solution, if you have little time. And get to see some of Naples that most tourists might not.https://maps.google.com/maps?client=s...

Sep 08, 2014
bob96 in Italy

What? No Chicken Parm!! [moved from Italy board]

Well, some do, in both directions. But not always mentioned. Linguine all vongole, arancini, chicken alla cacciatora (in one of its many styles), pesto, foccaccia, zuppa di pesce of any kind and pasta with frutta di mare, ragu all Napoletana (the Sunday "gravy"), lasagne di carnevale (the traditional form, born and still made in Naples), steak alla pizzaiolo, roasted peppers, frittate, caponata, escarole and beans and other such minestre, fried zucchini flowers, pasta with beans or legumes or broccoli or cauliflower, quality salumi...the list goes on on an of foods that are more or less shared in both cultures. Maybe no longer in restaurants, but certainly on family tables. And yes, meatballs with pasta, and even baked with pasta. Many holiday sweets. And "Italian" cheesecake, or torta di ricotta. They even drink beer or Coke with pizza in Naples, too.

Sep 07, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Wow--the list goes on and on. Remember well the Paradox and Cauldron--the former a beige, smoky, rustic way station where East Villagers getting ready to split for Vermont or Oregon fueled up on miso soup, brown rice and cabbage, green tea, and apple crisp made with seaweed gel. The Cauldron was orthodox macrobiotic, a weird, cult-like place I never liked.

Sep 04, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Extra virgin olive oil

Maureen, I cant really say, except that Costco is expertly price driven on everything, foods included: hard to find better values (quality-price) on many items. But Costco has always been trustworthy with its products in my experience. Its Toscano IGP is a steal, and when this stock is gone, it's just no longer available until the next raccolta. This basic extra virgin, labelled "100 Italian olives" and dated, smells like, and tastes like, a decent Pugliese coratina-ogliarola mix. I may well be wrong, of course, but I've been burned by enough extra virgin disappointment to finally have something like a nose, and have to give Costco the benefit of the doubt here. Sometimes you find these things--I've been lucky to get a fresh Spanish picual from a leading Andalucia coop for about the same price in another big box store (World Market), and an estate bottled DOP Dauno (Clemente) from Foggia for a little more from another such store, Home Goods, where I also found one of Barbera's monovarietal Sicilians at a terrific price. I also picked up a few cello packs of Sicilian oregano on the branch here--why it should be here in this North Carolina town is anyone's guess, but I for one profited. Maybe it's this crazy quilt and sometimes unpredictable global import market, where stuff can get thrown out there that's better than it should be (just like, in some traditional supermarkets, it's worse than it should be--the junk oils for sale in even established supermarkets are numerous). I just keep hunting until I find something worth it. I'll see what I can find about the Costco pricing, too.

Sep 04, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

The Guarinos sold their bakery to this Sicilian family, who renamed it (if memory serves) Carroll Bakery. On that block as well was the famous Pipitone butcher shop, complete with sawdust and stools and much chatter about meats for Sunday.

Aug 28, 2014
bob96 in Outer Boroughs

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Jen, the no name bakery on 5th was for many years (before being sold) owned by the Guarino family--we shopped there, and were friendly with the family, mom and pop and uncles, and esp. the kids. Multiple bakings each day, and a rush to get our well-done loaves before they closed noon on Sunday. On the Carroll St corner before al di la, a series of pizzerie and before that La Rinascente pasticceria. +2 for Latticini Barese. On Court St bet Pres and Union (E side) was the large latticini-salumeria long owned by the Aiello family, who sold to Russians in the 80s.

Aug 28, 2014
bob96 in Outer Boroughs

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Remember well the complimentary shot--thought it might have been vermouth, but no matter. And one especially grumpy but sweet waiter, forever hunched over. And the lines on Sunday.

Aug 25, 2014
bob96 in Outer Boroughs

Favorite wine with lamb

Matching from where lamb is often matched: A Ribera del Duero, or a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (Illuminato, Pepe, not the jug versions). From le Marche, a Rosso Conero (montepulciano-sangiovese) is also a nice match.

Aug 24, 2014
bob96 in Wine

Is sunday gravy the same as spaghetti sauce?

Thanks for the memories. In my first gen Calabrese Brooklyn family it was always sauce, even on Sunday. And on Sunday, no spaghetti was ever served--only hearty forms like rigatoni, ziti, long fusilli. Gravy only applied to these thick meat sauces in homes where "gravy" was the word. Some families, esp those from Naples, used "ragu", or in Neapolitan "'o rrau". At the butcher, tho, you asked for cuts of meat (pork,l beef) for "gravy".

Aug 22, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Michel's on Flatbush Ave near 8th, Park Slope's ritziest place for many years. Carolina in Conely Island, which formed a triangle with nearby Totonno and Gargiulo's for classic Italian American family eating.

Aug 22, 2014
bob96 in Outer Boroughs
1

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Camperdown used to be the Palm Pines, a neon dive bar frequented by mob wanabees and and their fast friends.

Aug 21, 2014
bob96 in Outer Boroughs

Extra virgin olive oil

I usually keep a liter of their Toscano IGP, and it's really nice, and a great bargain. It's a Tuscan olive blend, so it's going to be different than the everyday Italian evoo in the 2 liter. This is my first try of the 2 liter evoo, and I was completely surprised when the green, fresh, snappy olive aroma hit me when I opened it. It's more one dimensional than the Toscano, but just fine for everyday cooking. I use this for all my cooking, so it doesn't sit around long. I also keep Greek (koroneiki) and Spanish (hojiblanca) evoos on hand, just cause I like 'em, too.

Aug 11, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Calabria Report: Le Castella and Ciro' Marina

Thanks much for the review, and a reminder that many good things can be found south of Naples and north of Sicily. What did you like in Ciro Marina? We'll be back in Calabria next year after a few years, and might head up the Ionian that way.

Aug 10, 2014
bob96 in Italy

Extra virgin olive oil

Just finished a 2-liter bottle of 100% Italian-olive EVOO under the Kirkland label form Costco--$12.99. Harvest and use-by dated; fresh, green, with the characteristic pepperiness and fruit of Pugliese evoo (coratina olives, probably) which it likely is, given Puglia's enormous crop. It's a super buy. Also, Whole Foods now has varietal bottlings from Spain, Portugal, Chile, and Sicily: the hojiblanca from Sevilla in Spain ($12.99 liter) is very good--warm, fruity, a little bay leaf and nut flavor.

Aug 10, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan
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Worst Cooking show Buzzwords

No doubt. But in these shows, it's never presented as such, or in a Chinese context.

Aug 03, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Dessert Italian Style

No refrigeration? Almond biscotti (cantucci), anise bicotti, bowls of fresh fruit and melon, some good gelato in a cooler, bottles of Marsala, moscato, and a vin santo. That's Italian.

Aug 02, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking